The physics of the Third Wheel

Once again, this is another one of those post I have hoarded up for when I reach a dry spell. But this one could be pretty interesting (I hope).

The reason behind this post is simple enough. A couple of months back, I read a manga called GirlXGirlXBoy. I’m not sure if it’s popular or well-known but I definitely liked it. And a couple of weeks ago, another manga I was reading, Kimo Koi Limit, ended. And these two manga had one thing in common (well, two actually. They’re both generally Yuri). They both had a “third wheel” character that aided the progress of the main couple’s relationship. And I have always pitied this one poor person.

However, such a character also plays a unique role. They tend to be that “real close, but no banana” character. Which is to say that they’re really close to one (or both) halves of the main couple and in love with one of them. But they never get to have a relationship beyond friendship (albeit a deep one). But whilst in this role, they can perform lots of tasks for the manga/anime.

They provide a (literally) third person perspective of what’s going on. It might be biased at times of course but on the whole, it’s a neutral point of view. Sometimes, they also act the emotional link between the two main characters, bridging the gal between them. And unfortunately, they might even be the spring board for their relationship.

Say for example, Kimi Koi Limit. Sono is infatuated with Sato but despite confessing, Sato still sees her as no more as a friend. Now Sato is in college and Sono is with Hiroko, who she met at a bar after another unsuccessful attempt to confess to Sato. But Sono still is in love with Sato and can’t seem to forget her, which eventually leads to Hiroko breaking up with her. Through a series of other events, Sono once again meets Sato but is unable to get Sato to give her an answer to her feelings. To which she coincidentally meets up with Hiroko when she’s depressed.

But Hiroko never gets the happy ending. She helps Sono get over her depression and at the same time, confronts Sato to tell her about Sono and her all conflicting emotions. In the end, Sono and Sato are together and Hiroko is left alone in a bar to drink away her sadness

It is invariably we tend to be bad for this “third wheel”. They always get the short end of the straw but at the same time, they also tend to be admirable. I agent read a lot of manga or watches a lot of anime with such a character to say much but I have always felt the ideal of “to give your crush the most happiness possible, even if it’s not you thy gives the joy” to be a noble one. And yet, it is still sad.


P.S no idea why I wrote this. Just felt like penning down my thoughts on this (or to be more correct, typing out my thoughts)

Just the cover art. I do recommend this manga.

This manga has a very interesting plot and is definitely enjoyable. Another recommendation.

About Manfred Tham

Manfred can typically be found hiding from people behind his computer screen or a tall pint. However you can easily contact him in any given video game where he will either insult you or be really nice to you. In addition his nerdiness transcends the digital plane when he partakes in the arcane rituals of rolling dice in both table-top and board games. Disregarding the countless hours he has logged into games, Manfred loves nothing more than cooking food to satisfy his craving for Northern European cuisine or to sip away from the many bottles of whiskies he fondly defaults to. Manfred is also what is commonly known as a “metalhead” with a penchant for both symphonic and power metal. Manfred summarises his life philosophy with a quote by Samuel L.Jackson, but it has been redacted for being far too vulgar.
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6 Responses to The physics of the Third Wheel

  1. Valence says:

    The third wheel is essentially the self-sacrificing catalyst which made the relationship in question, possible?

  2. @fkeroge says:

    It’s sad, but hey, someone’s gotta do it.

  3. Nopy says:

    I know it’s harsh, but without a third wheel, many stories would be extremely boring. For the sake of entertainment, I’m happy to see a character be cast aside. As for real life, I hope it doesn’t happen as often as media portrays it.

    • Well, the intent of the media is to dramatize life.

      And it’s a sad fact right. That one character always gets the slightly sad or even miserable end. And we’ll always feel terrible for them

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